In-store traffic at U.S. brick-and-mortar retail stores and shopping centers was down 28.3 percent on Black Friday, November 26, compared to 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, but showed a 47.5 percent rebound compared to 2020, according to Sensormatic Solutions.

The findings are informed by retail traffic data analytics within the company’s intelligent operating platform, Sensormatic IQ.

“While in-store shopping is still not back to 2019 levels, more shoppers felt comfortable visiting stores in person this Black Friday than in 2020,” said Brian Field, senior director, global retail consulting, Sensormatic Solutions. “One driver of this increased traffic could be ongoing supply chain challenges and shipping delays, which are resulting in consumers shopping earlier to ensure their gifts arrive on time. With ongoing staffing challenges due to the labor shortage, retailers can leverage data-driven solutions to ensure their stores are appropriately staffed and shelves are stocked during anticipated busy shopping days.”

Traffic On Thanksgiving Day And Black Friday
Visits to physical stores on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, decreased 90.4 percent compared to 2019 as many retailers were closed as they had done in 2020. The peak time for in-store Black Friday shopping was between 1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m., as it has been in years past.

“Retailers kicked off holiday deals early this year to spread traffic peaks out throughout the season, helping to avoid crowded stores on Black Friday, better track and plan inventory and create an improved holiday shopping experience,” said Field. “According to Sensormatic Solutions 2021 Holiday Consumer Sentiment Survey, 65 percent of U.S. consumers plan to shop in-store this holiday season for product-related reasons, like browsing for gift ideas or to see/touch products before buying. Inventory inaccuracy is especially detrimental during this time of year because demand is at its peak and there is a greater risk of lost revenue, productivity, and shoppers. Retailers can use RFID-enabled inventory solutions to limit out of stocks by having the right inventory in the right place at the right time.”

Photo courtesy AP